Siluetas Metalicas, a sport in which steel silhouettes in the shape of game animals are used as targets, was introduced into the United States from Mexico in the 1960’s. The sport has evolved from high power rifle to include the pistol. The metal targets are shaped in the forms of chicken (gallina), wild boar (javelina), turkey (guajalote), and desert ram (borrego). The objective is to hit and knock down each animal target. Each downed target is scored as one point.
Courses of fire
On match days, multiple 40-shot matches, 10 shots at each type of animal, are fired on Range 1. It is generally not necessary to show up at the beginning of the match in order to secure a firing time. A single 40-shot match takes about an hour to fire. The matches are precision-fire matches completed in 5-shot strings in a maximum permitted time of 2 minutes. Open-sight pistols may be used in any of the scoped categories of fire if desired.
Types of Matches and dates
Silhouette Pistol League---Tuesday evenings at 6 pm during daylight savings time
This is an NRA Smallbore Hunter’s Pistol Match fired with .22 caliber pistols, usually twice through, from standing. Open sights or scopes are permitted, subject to entry in the proper category. Rifles chambered for .22 LR may also be fired. Typical shooters fire Ruger or S&W autoloaders, Contenders, and a range of revolvers. The course of fire begins at 40 yds on 1/2 size chickens and ends at 100 yds on 1/2 size rams. Pigs at 50 yards are considered the easiest targets, with a “sure hit” area measuring about 5 inches top to bottom.
Hunter’s Pistol Match--1st Saturday beginning at 9AM
Typically 4 possible courses of fire, with a new match beginning approximately every hour. Matches 1 and 2 are Smallbore Hunter’s Pistol, scope or open sights, in either order (see above). Matches 3 and 4 are Hunter’s Pistol, scope or open sights, in either order. Hunter’s Pistol matches are typically fired with straight-walled centerfire pistol calibers, certain other authorized calibers, such as the .22 Hornet, or .22 caliber rimfires chambered in .22 long rifle or .22 magnum. Magnum calibers are not necessary to down the targets, but may generally be used. Typical shooters fire Contenders or high-quality revolvers, and sometimes autoloaders. Vintage pump or lever action .22 rifles with buckhorn sights may also be used. The course of fire and target size is the same as in Smallbore Hunter’s Pistol.
IHMSA Match--3d Saturday beginning at 9AM
Typically over 20 possible courses of fire, with firing positions opening up about every 15 minutes.
Big Bore (and NRA Long Range) matches begin on full-size chickens at 50 yards and end on full-size rams at 200 yards. Chickens at 50 yards are considered the easiest targets, with a “sure hit” area measuring about 5 inches top to bottom. Both open sight and scope categories are available, in both standing and freestyle categories. Freestyle is any safe position in which the gun is supported only by the body with no artificial support and does not touch the ground or ground mat. Permitted equipment varies depending on the match, but open-sight magnum revolvers may be entered in all courses of fire. Typical competitors fire magnum revolvers , Contenders chambered for 0.24 to 0.36 caliber hunting rounds, or bolt action handguns in the .24-.30 caliber range. There is also a 1/2 course of fire at the same distances for which hunting rounds in the .22 to .24 caliber range would be suitable. Sighter targets are available and may be fired on prior to shooting for record. Heavy loads are generally required to reliably down the rams, which weigh 60 pounds. However, permissible loads are limited to those which do not cause excessive target damage.
IHMSA Field Pistol--similar to Hunter’s Pistol (see above) except that the chickens are set at 25 yards.
IHMSA .22 (and NRA Smallbore)--The IHMSA course of fire begins on 3/8 sized chickens at 25 yards and ends on 3/8 sized rams at 100 yards. The NRA course is the same except that the chickens are 1/2 size and set at 40 yards. Overall, the easiest targets are probably the pigs at 50 yards, which have a “sure hit” area measuring about 4 inches top to bottom. Both open sight and scope categories are available, in both standing and freestyle categories. Typical equipment is the same as in NRA Smallbore Hunter’s Pistol (see above).